What has happened
A group of older people in Northern Ireland have been targetted by Phishing attack.
Staff at a Post Office in Bangor became aware of a number of vulnerable customers aged in their 60's who came into the branch and asking to use MoneyGram (Payment Transfer Service).
None of them had used this method of payment before.
The four customers came in separately, each unaware of each other and each of them told staff that the payment transfers were for a family friend in America, who had requested they send between $700-$750 in order to claim a prize of $50,000.00 dollars.
When questioned further each of the customers stated that they had had received e-mails from family/friends in America.
Post office staff managed to convince the customers that they were being targeted by a scam and prevented the money from being transferred.
There is concern that others may well have been targeted by the same scam and have sent money via a Money Transfer Service.
Advice when using a money transfer service
There are several simple guidelines to remember:
- Never send money to people you haven't met in person.
- Never send money to pay for taxes or fees on lottery or prize winnings.
- Never use a test question as an additional security measure to protect your transaction.
- Never provide your banking information to people or businesses you don’t know.
- Never send money in advance to obtain a loan or credit card.
- Never send money for an emergency situation without verifying that it’s a real emergency.
- Never send funds from a cheque in your account until it fully clears – which can take up to six working days.
What to do if you have been contacted and asked to make a transfer like this
If you have received a request to make this kind of money transfer and you suspect it to be fraudulent you can report it to Action Fraud.
If you are over 60 years of age and have lost money to a scam like this then you should report the incident to the PSNI using the 101 telephone line.